Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
2021 Blog Number 33
August 16, 2021
Vacation Blog #3
Pastor Mark is on vacation and is not writing blogs now. He pre-wrote and uploaded these vacation blogs before leaving on vacation. Because they are dated they may or may not reflect current event.
Where Did The Women Go?
The week before I left for vacation I spent a wonderful day down the Jersey Shore. One of the sights that stood out for me was the announcement of the speakers for the Sunday Worship Service in the Great Auditorium. As a child I never attended a service in the auditorium but I did attend programs there. Particularly I attended organ concerts there. As a boy I was overwhelmed by the crowds (the auditorium was packed) as well as the grandeur of the organ. There certainly were men in the crowd but, like my home church, two thirds of the attenders were women. Indeed, in many places in my lifetime, women have made up the majority of the faithful who supported congregations with their attendance and cash. So why were there no women ministers?
Several groups of Methodists ordained women ministers as early as the 1860’s. The mainline United Methodist Church allowed women to be full ministers in 1956. There was still rumblings about this in the 1960’s when I was a Sunday School student.
In 1979, after I had become part of the Reformed Church, I was shocked that the Reformed church was still debating women’s ordination. I thought that this issue had been settled by Christians decades before. I had only begun to realize how different denominations could be on pivotal issues.
Women in both the United Methodist Church and the Reformed Church in America, now make up a large percentage of our ministers. Women have now been ordained in the United Methodist Church for 65 years. Why are no women invited to preach at the Great Auditorium? Clergy Women who I know have long told me that although women are ordained, they often feel backwashed and held down. In short, they feel there is the proverbial “glass ceiling” in the church. When I see this “male-only” roster at the Great Auditorium I can’t help but wonder if the female clergy I know are correct.
If this is true, it is a true injustice. The church that claims to fight against injustice might want to address this issue.
To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/